My First Pre-Natal Yoga Class at Breathe N Flow Yoga!

Yesterday I FINALLY went to prenatal yoga. I can’t believe I waited until after 27 weeks to head to my first class.

First off, let me explain a little why it took me so long to get there and then I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t wait as long as I did. I have been very active throughout this pregnancy so far. I look forward to getting my workout in each day, whether it be a run, walk, strength training session or whatever. I look forward to getting that sweat on because honestly, that’s how I feel most normal and like my pre-pregnancy self. I’ve told you before that I’m eating very healthy, but I’m giving into my cravings of cheese and bread. Burning calories is kind of how I feel like I’m balancing it out. I DON’T want to get to a crazy place in my head of ever feeling guilty for eating what I want throughout this pregnancy, whether it’s pasta multiple times a week, or ricotta or bread…so by getting in my workouts it let’s me relax a bit.  I had this preconceived notion that prenatal yoga would be a whole lot of breathing, stretching and barely any moving. This to me sounded like a rest day….and on my rest days…well…I generally wanted to rest.

I also make my own schedule to a point…some things like farmer’s markets and clients are non-negotiable. I obviously can’t workout during the hours I have scheduled. I also won’t take nighttime classes because a) I work with Danny doing Pure Bliss Eats stuff many nights a week, b) I’m mostly cranky and uncomfortable at night (which yoga would prob help but anyway…!) c) I look forward to spending a couple hours a night with Danny relaxing, cleaning up, doing housework.  So this limits my ability to take prenatal classes to 2 classes a week. Now that I’ve given you every excuse in the book as to why I haven’t taken prenatal yoga…let me tell you why I wished I started weeks ago.

Screen shot 2012 07 24 at 11.30.09 AM My First Pre Natal Yoga Class at Breathe N Flow Yoga!

I’ve taken countless yoga classes at Breathe N Flow Yoga in my pre-pregnancy days. Literally every class was a joy and made me feel renewed. The yoga instructors are all amazing. What really drew me to Breathe N Flow are the owners though, Leah and Manny.  They make everyone who walks in the door feel special, welcomed and really part of the BNF community. I finally messaged Leah to tell her I’d be in Monday. Once I made the commitment, I knew I needed to stick to it. When I walked in the door at 9:30 yesterday morning, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. What had taken me 7 months to get here? I felt a sense of calming and knew that my body needed to be there in every sense!

I caught up quickly with Leah before going into the room to set up my mat. I grabbed 2 blocks, a bolster and a blanket and sat in child’s pose for a couple of minutes before class. When I sat up I was pleased to see there were 9 or 10 other women in the room. It really makes you smile looking at all the belly’s in the room. I enjoyed listening to the chatter in the room. I could tell some of the women had been coming for awhile because they knew each other and were catching up on how they were feeling in the past week. Again, speaking to the community that Leah builds at Breathe N Flow. 

Leah came into the room, put on some nice music and we all introduced ourselves, said how far along we were and if there were any body parts we’d like to work on. I said my calves were tight. I really enjoyed this part of class and hearing how far along each person was. The range was about 13 weeks to 37 weeks! Once class started we did some gentle stretches first focusing on the neck and upper body. The part that surprised me was we did flow and move. Obviously there were modifications, like not doing upward dog but I did get a little bit of a sweat on. I enjoyed doing many downward dogs and warriors. We went through many different poses, hitting every body part and making my body feel really good. By the end of the class my legs felt really good. They felt like they got a little bit of a workout in from the warriors and squats but also felt nice and stretched out, which is exactly what I needed. I also really enjoyed the connection I felt to baby, when we touched our belly’s at the beginning and end of class.

I realized after class, that I need to slow down and really take time to do yoga each week. Even if I don’t physically get to a class, I need to just slow down and realize how good this is for me and baby too. The class was not just sitting around doing nothing, you do move. But the point is, I need to stop worrying about the “burn” and “sweat”. Don’t wait until third trimester to get to pre-natal yoga. You’ll walk out feeling super refreshed in body and mind. I plan on trying to get to class at least every other week. Being a part of the BNF community is important to me because you connect with other like minded people AND everyone is SO nice. You get to know each other and grow together!

I’ve already said the very special part of Breathe and Flow Yoga is the community there and the owners Leah and Manny. They also have 5 prenatal classes a week, which is kind of unheard of in yoga studios. Leah also will take the time and talk to you about how you’re feeling and will include different poses in class depending on what you’d like to work on. I can’t recommend BNF Yoga enough, prenatal or not! And plus, after you have your baby you can do birthday parties, Mommy and me and kids yoga there! It’s a place for the entire family!

Check out their class schedule and facebook page! 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this class or review. I did receive the class for free, but I would have paid for it! As always, all opinions are my own! 

Pregnancy Fitness: Prenatal Yoga

Hi! So you know I’m continuing to stay active throughout my pregnancy with running, strength training, walking and an occasional session on the elliptical. One thing I haven’t tried is prenatal yoga. I kind of fell out of my yoga practice last fall, after doing it 1-2x a week for 2 years. I really miss yoga but haven’t found a way to fit it into my life right now.

Gaiam contacted me about doing a guest post about prenatal yoga on my blog and I thought it would be the perfect opporotunity for me to learn more about it, along side of you. So with this post I’ll be trying a prenatal yoga class this week.

Some info on prenatal yoga:

Prenatal Yoga

Yoga brings together the mind and the body to achieve a state of relaxation and peacefulness. It is offered in a variety of styles and intensities to increase physical fitness and successfully manage stress or chronic health conditions through postures and controlled breathing. Whether done as a supplement to your normal exercise routine or as a way to help enhance physical and mental health, choosing to engage in a yoga practice will help you to feel relaxed and capable of handling daily challenges.

Pregnancy presents a multitude of physical and psychological changes in women. Each decision a pregnant woman makes must take into consideration the health of her unborn baby. Good prenatal care is essential and includes a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, adequate rest, medical care, and gaining weight in a range considered healthy. Prenatal yoga provides a way for women to relieve stress and improve physical fitness at the same time. Yoga for pregnancy makes accommodations for the physical limitations of pregnancy to ensure the safety and well-being of mother and child. Fully participating in the stretches and exercises involved in a yoga practice is helpful in maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure, both of which may be compromised during pregnancy.

Yoga for pregnancy will be composed of a series of stretches, postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation or cool-down period. These exercises help reduce tension in the body and as a pregnancy progresses, minimize the discomforts associated with physical changes and your growing body such as back pain, problems with digestion, and swelling. Breathing is done through the nose in a focused, slow manner which is a technique also valuable in preparation for childbirth and contractions. Pranayama is used in yoga as a breathing method to clear the mind and body, therefore maximizing the beneficial aspects of yoga postures. With each inhale the body brings in oxygen essential for the mother and her baby and the exhale expunges the carbon dioxide present in the body.

Prenatal yoga features a variety of hip opening exercises that are safe to perform throughout pregnancy. The Cobbler’s Pose is performed in a seated position with knees bent and the soles of the feet touching. Completing this position with your back to the wall will help provide support and remain in the stretch for a longer period of time to maximize the opening of the hips and groin. A variation while seated is to then engage in the Fire Log Pose by placing one ankle to the opposite knee, keeping the shin and ankle parallel and both feet flexed. Stretches like the Dog and Cat Poses stretch the entire length of the spine through the neck, helping relieve some of the tension in the lower back from carrying a significant amount of weight in your uterus during pregnancy. Beginning in table position on all fours, the Dog Pose consists of letting the belly drop to the floor while gazing upwards and the Cat Pose reverses this by rounding the back and moving your focus to the floor. Alternating between the two and being careful not to overextend in either direction is an essential yoga posture for pregnancy.

Standing postures such as the Warrior I and II strengthen joints and improve balance and may be easier to perform than sitting stretches as the uterus continues to grow and expand. The feeling of invigoration through completing prenatal yoga postures is continued through the relaxation period where close attention is paid to the breathing and thought process. Self-awareness is crucial during yoga to ensure that you do not cause injury to yourself or participate too intensely. Yoga during pregnancy provides a wide range of physical and psychological health benefits that beginners and experienced women can participate in.

Erica Hill is writing on behalf of Gaiam TV, a healthy lifestyle and media company that offers a wide variety of workout videos online including prenatal and restorative yoga videos.

I’m excited to give Gaiam TV a try for a month and see which DVD’s I like. AND I have the chance to offer 2 of you free months as well! Go check it out and you’ll see there is plenty to choose from yoga to Jillian Michaels. I’m ready to feel the flow again!

To Enter:

Just leave a comment with what DVD you’d like to try on GAIAM tv! 

I’ll pick a winner next Tuesday, June 19th!

 

Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

Happy Friday! Another weekend already? I know, not complaining!

This is a big weekend for us. We have lots of plans and are focusing really on the positive. We have 2 people very interested in our apartment and I JUST KNOW that they are going to put in offers and we are going to be well on our way to selling this place!! I couldn’t be more excited about this!

We have big things going on in our lives, between selling our apartment we’ve called home for 3 years, buying and moving into our new place, my growing Health & Nutrition Counseling practice AND the fact that I will be starting to hold Bakery Events to share my baked goods with my local community! The first event is going to be July 25th, but I’m not sure what time yet. I hope to see some of you there!

On another note, I know many of NYC people escape to the Jersey Shore over the weekend and for vacation. My in laws have been going there for most of their lives and I’ve joined in on the fun for the past 7 years. Last weekend it was pouring and I wanted to hit up a yoga studio. There really aren’t many down by the Shore, but after doing some google searching, I found the place. Jersey Shore Hot Yoga…no Snookie was not there..but maybe one day she will be.

logo2 Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

Danny and I took the hot yoga flow which was described on the website:  “This class is very similar to our hot yoga class, but moves along in a more flowing manner. The class leaves room for more spontaneity. Come and allow your intuitive and intellegent body take you to higher levels in your yoga practice. Beginners Welcome!! You do not have to be physically fit to come to this class.”

IMG 0354 300x224 Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

Perfect. We entered the studio and I knew I’d love it. It was super clean and the woman there was super friendly. She welcome us and we chatted for a couple of minutes before class. I am guessing she was the owner, I just got that vibe. After going back to the website, I’m pretty sure I’m right.

IMG 0353 300x224 Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

The class. Oh the class. HARD. INTENSE. AWESOME. It was exactly how the website described it (obviously). It had lots of downward dogs, vinyasas but wasn’t that fast of a flow. AND it didn’t have any chair poses…which is always appreciated by my thighs. (Don’t worry, there were plenty of other thigh burners.)

The class as a whole was awesome and boy, oh boy, advanced. I did my own thang when they took it to the next different level. The instructor had a wonderful way about her. She cracked a couple of jokes (which I love and appreciate), but still was very calm and soothing. She didn’t come around and make adjustments at all, which I missed, but I know every instructor is different. I personally enjoy adjustments because it helps me go deeper, or just fix a pose I may be doing incorrectly.

The room got HOT and I enjoyed every sweaty second of it. It may have been the most I’ve sweat ever…but I say that alot. After 75 minutes I felt extra Gumby-ish, had a clear mind, and was ready to go back to a house with 6 kids.

If you are ever in the area, it’s worth the drive. It was about 20 minutes away from my in-laws house, but I would do it again to go to this studio! I enjoyed everything about it!  (P.S. We paid for this class, it was $18 per person for a drop in, which is pretty standard for yoga classes.)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Namaste.

Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

Happy Friday! Another weekend already? I know, not complaining!

This is a big weekend for us. We have lots of plans and are focusing really on the positive. We have 2 people very interested in our apartment and I JUST KNOW that they are going to put in offers and we are going to be well on our way to selling this place!! I couldn’t be more excited about this!

We have big things going on in our lives, between selling our apartment we’ve called home for 3 years, buying and moving into our new place, my growing Health & Nutrition Counseling practice AND the fact that I will be starting to hold Bakery Events to share my baked goods with my local community! The first event is going to be July 25th, but I’m not sure what time yet. I hope to see some of you there!

On another note, I know many of NYC people escape to the Jersey Shore over the weekend and for vacation. My in laws have been going there for most of their lives and I’ve joined in on the fun for the past 7 years. Last weekend it was pouring and I wanted to hit up a yoga studio. There really aren’t many down by the Shore, but after doing some google searching, I found the place. Jersey Shore Hot Yoga…no Snookie was not there..but maybe one day she will be.

logo2 Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

Danny and I took the hot yoga flow which was described on the website:  “This class is very similar to our hot yoga class, but moves along in a more flowing manner. The class leaves room for more spontaneity. Come and allow your intuitive and intellegent body take you to higher levels in your yoga practice. Beginners Welcome!! You do not have to be physically fit to come to this class.”

IMG 0354 300x224 Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

Perfect. We entered the studio and I knew I’d love it. It was super clean and the woman there was super friendly. She welcome us and we chatted for a couple of minutes before class. I am guessing she was the owner, I just got that vibe. After going back to the website, I’m pretty sure I’m right.

IMG 0353 300x224 Big Happenings & Jersey Shore Hot Yoga

The class. Oh the class. HARD. INTENSE. AWESOME. It was exactly how the website described it (obviously). It had lots of downward dogs, vinyasas but wasn’t that fast of a flow. AND it didn’t have any chair poses…which is always appreciated by my thighs. (Don’t worry, there were plenty of other thigh burners.)

The class as a whole was awesome and boy, oh boy, advanced. I did my own thang when they took it to the next different level. The instructor had a wonderful way about her. She cracked a couple of jokes (which I love and appreciate), but still was very calm and soothing. She didn’t come around and make adjustments at all, which I missed, but I know every instructor is different. I personally enjoy adjustments because it helps me go deeper, or just fix a pose I may be doing incorrectly.

The room got HOT and I enjoyed every sweaty second of it. It may have been the most I’ve sweat ever…but I say that alot. After 75 minutes I felt extra Gumby-ish, had a clear mind, and was ready to go back to a house with 6 kids.

If you are ever in the area, it’s worth the drive. It was about 20 minutes away from my in-laws house, but I would do it again to go to this studio! I enjoyed everything about it!  (P.S. We paid for this class, it was $18 per person for a drop in, which is pretty standard for yoga classes.)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Namaste.